18 months ago we were featured in local press and media as we’d received one of the largest ever BBC Children in Need awards. So how are we doing?
I’m delighted to say that we now have Storytellers in 7 hospitals throughout the UK. It took a while to work our way through NHS systems but we’re there! In addition we have a Pottery Lady who works in the Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle creating masterpieces with young patients, a Coordinator (Alison Lister) who manages the Children in Need project and, in March this year, we appointed our first Fundraising and Development Coordinator, Sheela Bell.
We’re a different charity now to what we were initially. Our grant giving remains at the heart of our work: helping families of kids with Primary Bone Cancer enjoy trips and memory making or helping with household bills and travel. (We’ve given out over 450 grants to date.) However we’re now much bigger, helping young people with all forms of cancer have a few sessions of fun during treatment across the nation.
Our Trustees have grown in number and skill-sets. They’re still a small but perfectly-formed group who generously give their time and advice to “The Mum that lost her son to cancer” who still feels that she’s making it up as she goes along!
Thank you to everyone who has helped “Team Henry” get to this stage: from my Husband and family to the companies and Trusts who have helped us along the way to those who have fundraised for us or are gearing up to this year’s Great North Run and other challenges.
I consider myself to be extremely fortunate – I just wish that Henry was here to witness it.
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With best wishes
Jane (Henry’s Mum)
My last blog was a sad one and the tough news of those suffering from Henry’s condition continues to arrive, with 2 of our beneficiaries relapsing recently. There are days when it feels like wading through treacle. That said there are moments of delight associated with running a children’s cancer charity.
I was visiting a friend in our nearby village and parked up outside her home. I was aware of a small girl on a scooter zooming down the road behind me so took extra care as I reversed into the space. Sensibly, she’d stopped and was staring hard at the car. As I got out, she fist pumped and called, “Yay! Henry Dancer!”
I don’t know the young lady concerned and she must only have been a toddler when Henry died. Her response was so genuine and full of delight at seeing the logo on my car, knowing what it meant.
All I could think of in reply was, “Thank you, sweetheart.” I couldn’t explain the joy I felt in knowing that Henry’s name means something to even those who didn’t know him when he was here and that her reaction was everything I could hope for, and more.
Little things can mean so much.